Crowd braves rain for relay

Community members rallied to show support for cancer victims and survivors at the Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life.
Community members rallied to show support for cancer victims and survivors at the Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life.

Rain like all the rain of September arriving to threaten the annual Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life.

Still they came, walked laps as they’d promised and gathered in front of the tent-covered stage for the Saturday night candlelight vigil.

As rain bounced off the Whinnen Dempsey stand and rattled its down pipes, priest John Taylor looked out to the soaked crowd huddled together in the dark and spoke of a God with a sense of humour ‘laughing at us for being in this rain’.

Such gatherings, the Yanchep Anglican pastor said, ‘remind us we are never alone’.

And he used this year’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech to declare: ‘We all have a dream ” the end of cancer and the suffering it brings.’

Keifer King, a Quinns Rocks 20-year-old who went to the brink a few times with leukaemia, lit one of three candles and Australia’s Got Talent contestant Chloe Marlow sang Candle on the Water as pictures of families affected by the disease rolled on screen.

Tears flowed with singer Sian Clack’s You Raise Me Up before lone piper and cancer survivor Amelia Hewison stepped forward ” her pipes safe from the rain ” to play before a minute’s silence and Mayor Tracey Roberts’ send-forth to continue circuiting the oval.

‘With the tears on the stage I don’t know if it’s wetter up here or out there,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘I can see you have big hearts and I know at 1am, 2am, 3am, it’s going to get tough because I don’t think the rain is going away. I know you’ll do a good job.’

They did, all 110 teams, making sure someone was on the track from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, raising about $315,000 for WA Cancer Council support programs and research.

More relay pictures page 4